Airbnb rentals spark conflict, health concerns with Glendale apartment building owner

GLENDALE, Calif. (KABC) -- Several Southern California renters are upset with a partnership their apartment building owner has made with Airbnb, calling it hypocritical and dangerous.

"I saw a lot of people with suitcases and so I looked on Airbnb and I noticed there were a lot of listings there for the building," said Christopher MacManus who has lived at the Griffith Apartments for the past year.

Apartments at the complex at 435 W. Los Feliz Road in Glendale are listed on Airbnb for 30-day rentals for $145 a night.

"When I looked at the host, the host has 570 other listings for other Greystar properties across America," MacManus told Eyewitness News.

Many residents at the Griffith see the short-term rentals as a health threat, bringing more people into the building while the pandemic is raging.

"It's almost a slap in the face for people that have been careful," said Dai Macdonald who lives at the complex with her husband and 14-month old son.

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The owner of the Griffith Apartments, Greystar, tells Eyewitness News that corporate housing providers are offering the 30-day rentals and that they comply with local and state ordinances.

The company adds that the units are being offered to first responders and other essential workers responding to the pandemic.
The city of Glendale says it has had a home-sharing ordinance on the books for the past year, but it only regulates rentals under 30 days.

Glendale officials, however say they will look into possible pandemic-related issues there.

"We have a team of inspectors who have been responding to such complaints with the primary goal of gaining compliance," Eliza Papazian, Glendale's public information officer, said in a written statement. "Now that it's brought to our attention, we will inspect the property for compliance."

The residents at The Griffith say they wish Greystar had let residents know about the short-term rentals and also recognize the hypocrisy of the program.

"They don't let us sublet and they specify things like 'Don't use Airbnb,'" said David Macdonald. "But then they turn around and use it themselves."

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